So I am a huge fan of Marvel Cosmic, which is Marvel's line of Sci-Fi based comic books. Jim Starlin is one of my all time favorite comic book authors and he basically invented most of it. I’m also a huge fan of the modern revitalization Marvel Cosmic got with Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett a few years ago. I also know that Marvel Cosmic doesn’t have as big of a fan base as some of Marvel’s other characters or storylines. So when I heard that Guardians of the Galaxy was being made into a movie, it was like a dream come true. I never thought that Marvel would ever make a film out of this obscure cast of characters that I loved. I was literally counting the days before I could see it. So did it live up to my excitement? Let’s review Guardians of the Galaxy.
I had a really hard time liking this film. So much so that I decided to go see it a second time so that I could give it a fair review. I have been a huge fan of Marvel Cosmic for many years now, the amount of things they changed from the source material made it barely recognizable. A good example would be if Marvel released a film about a beetle themed superhero that fights zombie Nazis in Texas, and called it a film about Spider-Man. If this were a Harry Potter film, the fans would have been outraged over the amount of changes made; they probably would have called for blood.
The problem I face is the fact that no one really complained. There aren’t really huge numbers of fans for these characters. They don’t realize the amount of well established history that was changed. So when I hear people debating on whether or not Guardians was better than the Avengers, I recoil a little. Avengers pretty much nailed the adaptation whereas Guardians largely ignored it. This was the reason I had to see it twice as a critic I have to be unbiased towards these things and judge the film as it is, but as a fan I was a little heartbroken. This wasn’t a film made for me, this was a film that is going to spark interest in a relatively obscure group of characters and get a larger fan base. Sure it will be confusing for those who only know about the film history, but overall it will ensure that Marvel Cosmic stays for quite some time.
What made me want to give the film a second chance was that about ¾ of the way through the film, I realized what I was watching was actually quite good. Despite being a poor adaptation, the film itself isn’t bad. The film is funny; in fact I would say the film is very funny. It has been a really long time since I have laughed this hard at a film. A lot of the humor is stuff you really wouldn’t expect Marvel to go, but ultimately it was this dark sense of humor that really endeared me to the film, even during my first viewing when I was unhappy due to the changes.
The film does an excellent job of balancing out its team members. Something that both Avengers and some of the X-Men films failed at was balancing out the screen time so that we got to know each of the team members really well. Marvel fixed that issue by having the major Avengers members appear in their own separate movies first so that we would already know the characters before they appeared together. Guardians rather impressively introduces the audience to all 5 members of the team and makes each of their personalities and quirks well known, even taking the time to show how each member interacts with one another.
The soundtrack was absolutely glorious in this movie. It’s no wonder many of these songs are hitting the number 1 charts for the first time in years because Guardians uses its mostly 70’s soundtrack to full extent, utilizing each song to establish the tone of each scene. In particular, Guardians’ use of Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” during the opening credits is probably one of the best tone establishers I have seen in a really long time instantly telling the audience that you are in for a really fun ride.
I don’t think I’m the right person to discuss this film in a good light. I really enjoyed this film and had a wonderful time with it, but ultimately it was the vast changes made to the source material that really stopped me from loving this film as much as I should have. My personal fan feelings aside, I do highly recommend this film to everyone. If you are looking for a really fun comedy sci-fi adventure this is absolutely the film to see. 4.7 out of 5.